What a semester it has been! Teaching this class has been amazing. For me the worst part of a class is typically grading. This semester, however, it has been a treat, as the new assignments that students have submitted have wowed me. Some of the best have been watching students who came into the class with limited knowledge of playing board games create actually fun prototypes at the end of the class, many of which could stand up in today’s competitive tabletop game market.
Over the next few weeks I plan to share some of the assignments turned in by students (with their permission) on our humble blog. I think these submissions will go a long way in showing some of the amazing things students have done this semester. While all of the students did stellar work on different assignments, I’ll be limiting to a few submissions for each assignment.
I’m starting today with the assignment for written and video game review. All I’ll be sharing is the video part of their review. As with many of the assignments in class they were not limited to tabletop games and could also do any other type of game they chose. I think these will be a nice start to showing some of the amazing work of students in EDL 290T.
Ali Hancock: Review of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp
Nolin Hamlin: Review of BIONICLE: The Quest For Makuta
I hope you enjoy the hard work Ali and Nolin put in! I look forward to showing you more amazing work over the next two months!
At first, I was really disappointed that I would not be able to teach this course the first semester it was offered on our campus. JS and I worked so hard on making sure this class would be available to students within a semester, it was almost like a jab in my side when I found I would not have a front-row seat to watch the light bulbs above the students’ heads (or nat. 20s- whichever picture suits your imagination). However, I have found that this semester I have spent “behind the scenes” has provided both JS and I a more comprehensive understanding and opportunity to dig deeper into the course data.
As discussed in an earlier entry, I love data… so does the CTE who gave us the grant money. As such, JS and I have been very diligent in collecting TONS of data with which to compile and pull themes. Daily notecards with a question of the day that related to what was discussed in class that day, every aspect of assignments (when they were turned in, how many students did one assignment over the other, which themes students stuck with over the course), pre and post tests- the list goes on….
Because I did not get to spend time in the class this semester, I was able to push JS’s findings further by asking those questions of “why this”, “how that”, and “what is this referring to” in order to better situate the data we have collected and explain it to others who may not have the experience in the course. I was able to approach the data with a more objective view due to not having the direct relationships with the students. (Don’t get me wrong, I still would have preferred to be in the classroom, but this was the next best option!) I had access to this data throughout the course so I could follow along with what was happening and what everyone was experiencing.
Without giving away too much information (we do have LOTS of combing through data before we can post something super formal….), I did have a few thoughts I thought may be of interest to those who have followed along thus far. Please keep in mind, these are my personal observations/thoughts and are not necessarily backed up with physical data- at least, yet.
The course layout seemed to facilitate community within the classroom, classmates, and facilitators.
The students did phenomenal work on the projects that were submitted. Seriously- we cannot wait to share the ones we received permission to do so with in a future post! Although most of the assignments were submitted in the last month of the course, you can tell a lot of thought and effort went into each submission.
The grading scale needs some work. It was modified towards the end of the semester with much gratitude from the students, but we will still need to revisit it to ensure our students are still achieving and meeting the expectations of the course.
There is room for improvement on the course. If we stopped finagling with the course now, we would be failing ourselves and our students. One of the biggest areas of improvement? We want to immerse the students even further into the gaming community. Why stop with just getting feedback from classmates and facilitators? Did I hear someone say, “field trip”?!?
And with that, I think I will leave you in suspense for the larger post of findings coming soon. I look forward to continuing to share our passion of tabletop games and leadership with our students. However, next semester I get a front-row seat!